“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper,” is an old saying, but I first learned about this way of eating from a friend from Peru who claimed this has always been the way for Peruvians and some South Americans.  It was during the 70s in New York when he told me about this.  I thought it odd at first, but as time went, TV news magazines started talking about the benefits of this manner of eating.

However, stuffing ourselves with doughnuts, sweet pastries, and sugary cereals — as we dash off to work or school — just to say we had breakfast will not do the trick. To start the day off right, experts recommend that our breakfast is complete with whole grains, protein, and fiber.

Now, here are some of the benefits of eating a complete breakfast:

It enhances our immune system. A study in the Netherlands showed that eating a substantial breakfast boosts our body’s interferon-gamma, a natural antiviral that directly activates immune cells. Skipping breakfast caused a 17 percent drop in interferon-gamma.

It improves our skin. Eggs, regardless of the way they are prepared, are fantastic for our skin. That is due to lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant found in eggs, which helps preserve the skin’s elasticity and protects skin cells from free radical damage. Just one egg a day can boost our lutein levels by 26 percent.

Helps keeps us slim. Regularly eating a healthy breakfast will not magically shed the pounds, but experts claim it may help our emotional relationship with food, which in turn, affects our weight. Prolonged fasting can increase our body’s insulin response that can increase fat storage and weight gain. On the other hand, regularly eating a well-balanced breakfast helps our body to prevent overeating and stave off our craving for quick carbohydrate fixes, or late morning snacks of doughnuts and pastries.

Moreover, experts assert that eating later in the day only ruins our body’s chances of burning off unnecessary fat, consequently putting ourselves at risk for obesity and heart disease. It really is that serious.  Therefore, skipping breakfast not only completely ignores our body’s needs, but it also deprives it of so many positive benefits.

And finally, eating a complete breakfast stabilizes our energy levels.  A balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber is the key to any healthy breakfast, and eating foods with these components will increase our energy levels. Breakfast replenishes our glycogen, which supply muscles with immediate energy. Breakfast was found to supply around 25 percent of our body’s daily energy expenditure; thus, leading to a high-functioning day.

So, there you go.  What more do we need to convince ourselves that eating a well-balanced breakfast is the best way to start off our day?